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Hoyt Building Mural with SAIL West High School

Dane Arts Mural Arts and SAIL West High School students create art together.

In the spring of 2015, DAMA began working with SAIL West students to create a mural for the front of the Hoyt School building, where the SAIL program takes place. DAMA lead artists, Emida Roller and Alicia Rheal, worked with the students in both designing and painting the mural. The material they worked on is called "parachute cloth" and when finished, would be glued to exterior panels, and installed on the front of the Hoyt building.

During the painting process, it became clear to the artists that several of the students were intimidated and scared of working on the mural. "I don't want to ruin it;" "I'm not a good enough painter”; "I can't draw;” were all common statements. What the artists then started was an alternative "no rules, no wrong way to paint" table, in the same room as the progressing mural.

The "no rules" paint table was a HUGE hit. Students who had been afraid to pick up a brush now started playing with paint, combining color and texture, using different types and sizes of brushes, and trying different techniques. There was absolutely no failure - just fun and experimentation!

Students created yards and yards of beautiful, vibrant, playfully painted "parachute cloth." Along the way we discovered that this fabric lends itself perfectly to collage. The students were encouraged to cut out and piece together new images, mounting them onto scrap plywood or spare mat board. The completed art pieces are colorful, delightful, and chock full of energy - just like the students who created them! We hope you enjoy these pieces as much as we have enjoyed making them.

Dane Arts Mural Arts (DAMA) is a county wide program that is part of Dane Arts. Our purpose is to engage youth and community members in the mural arts process – providing opportunities to experience success through organized, hands-on, hard work.

SAIL West (Student Achievement through Individualized Learning) is a West High alternative program, whose mission is to expand the instructional opportunities for students who benefit from a non-traditional academic setting.

- Alicia Rheal, DAMA lead artist

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Sharon Kilfoy leads Madison Mural Tour

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Sharon Kilfoy leads Madison Mural Tour

On September 21, 2015 DAMA director Sharon Kilfoy joined Edgewood College Professor of Art History Melanie Herzog, Edgewood students, DAMA lead artist Emida Roller, and visiting artists from China and Egypt for a tour of Madison murals.

Traversing Madison's south and east sides, Kilfoy's voyage examined murals at Omega School, Centro Hispano, the Madison Labor Temple, the Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center, and the Social Justice Center with brief looks at Georgia O'Keefe Middle School, Mother Fool's Coffeehouse, and Plan B. 

Discussing both painting techniques and community messages, Kilfoy explored Madison's rich history of murals and the people and ideas behind the city's striking visual displays.

A prominent figure in the Willy Street neighborhood's history of art and activism, Kilfoy spoke passionately about the series of artworks at the Social Justice Center located at 1202 Williamson St. 

On its wall facing Few St., the Social Justice Center presents a mural showcasing past neighborhood figures that shaped Willy Street's creative and socially-engaged community. Some of the people and institutions represented  are Nature's Bakery, WORT (89.9 FM), and artists and songwriters Peter and Lou Berryman.

The newest addition to the Social Justice center will cover the building's back wall. Its painting was prompted by the death of Willy Street resident Tony Robinson and will depict the lives of of Robinson and other young people from the neighborhood who lost their lives to violence.

"The mural itself will be a peaceful celebration of lives," explains Kilfoy. "This mural, I feel, is one of the most important I've been associated with."

The new Social Justice Center mural will be painted Friday, September 25 through Sunday, September 27. People are encouraged to stop by and help!

 

 

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Intern's Corner: DAMA Reflections from Elise Crone

On May 27th, I walked into the County Executive office to begin my summer with Dane Arts. After a brief tour and introductions, Dane Arts Director Mark Fraire said, “I have a meeting you should sit in on.” Twenty minutes later we were sitting around a table with mural artists Sharon Kilfoy, Emida Roller, and Alicia Rheal. Sitting there in my “business casual” clothing, I noticed that all three women were dressed from head to toe in paint spattered attire, and I thought – what have I gotten myself into? For the next two hours, I listened as they hammered out the details behind one of Fraire’s new initiatives, “Dane Arts Mural Arts” – or “DAMA.” The program was already showing immense potential for growth, and there was so much excitement behind the idea. I couldn’t help but feel the same thrill.

Three days later, I ditched my “business casual” in favor of jeans and an old t-shirt and headed to Zion City Community Outreach Center for a community painting day. That morning, Chicago graffiti artist, Lavie Raven met with a group of adults and teenagers to discuss the issues facing the community. As people talked, Raven sketched. By late morning, Raven was creating a mock-up with ongoing input from community members. As we ate lunch, new friends worked together to create artwork and poetry. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate for painting to begin that day, but everyone seemed to enjoy themselves nonetheless.

Since that first day at Zion City, the mural project has taken on a life of its own. Under the leadership of Sharon Kilfoy, professional mural artists from Chicago, Arizona, and Dane County have collaborated with community members and a number of organizations to come together through art. Through DAMA, plans for other murals around Dane County are already in the works, and despite my initial hesitations, I can’t wait to see the results.

- Elise Crone

 

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Panel Discussion on Muralism at Promega

Dane Arts Director Mark Fraire introduced DAMA at the Wall Bound exhibition reception on June 9, presented by the Promega Summer Art Showcase. His presentation kicked off a panel discussion on muralism, an artistic movement aimed at engaging and unifying communities, including exhibiting artists Marco Albarran, Cristina Cardenas, Zarco Guerrero, Martin Moreno, and Alfred Quiroz. 

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Visiting With SAIL's Student Muralists

DAMA's documentary team, Midwest Story Lab, visited the Hoyt Building in Madison on June 2 and found five stunning mural panels painted by SAIL students and teaching artists Emida Roller and Alicia Rheal. The mural depicts life in the Hoyt Building: students, teachers, school employees, physical fitness, sports, children, voting during elections, and even the bug lab in the basement! 

MSL captured some photos of Roller and Rheal collaborating with students on new abstract paintings and took some shots of the almost completed Hoyt mural. Soon enough the exterior of the building will be adorned with the student and teaching artists' wonderful work! 

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Dane Arts at the Marquette Waterfront Festival

Dane Arts camped out at the Marquette Waterfront Festival on June 13, setting up their spankin' new tent and providing the fest's attendees with an art-filled afternoon.

The amazing Nuria Moffitt painted faces, fest-goers painted frames as a part of the Windows of Worlds program, kids smiled, parents beamed, and a good time was had by all! 

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Sherman Middle School's Symbolic Mural

Midwest Story Lab brought their cameras to Sherman Middle School in Madison last week to capture some interviews with our community's newest muralists: Ms. Jorgensen's seventh grade social studies class. As a way of tackling world issues on a local level, each student was asked in class to select a global problem, research it, give a speech on the issue, and ultimately contribute symbols to a collaborative mural. 

Students studied hunger, drought, human trafficking, gender equality, human longevity, and other huge issues that would seemingly be difficult for a young person to fully grasp. However, MSL was thoroughly impressed with the Sherman students who not only created an outstanding work of art, but spoke eloquently about the difficult subject matter they examined. Go Sherman Middle School! Go teaching muralist Shadayra Kilfoy-Flores! And go teacher Kate Jorgensen! 

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Launching DAMA and a Spray Paint Workshop!

DAMA (Dane Arts Mural Arts) officially launched yesterday with a fantastic spray paint workshop by Lavie Raven and a press conference featuring Dane County Executive Joe Parisi, Dane County Cultural Affairs Director Mark Fraire and DAMA lead muralist Sharon Kilfoy. 

People of all ages came together to learn graffiti techniques and paint eight mural panels at the Zion City Community Outreach Center. Artists came from Arizona, Chicago, and Germany to participate in the festivities!

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Painting begins at Zion City!

DAMA kicked off the painting of its first mural on May 31 at Zion City Community Outreach Center!

Muralist Lavie Raven came up from Chicago to lead the team and community members joined in to cover Zion City's wall with a vibrant sunburst image. Transforming the plain gray wall into an eye-catching  yellow, orange, and blue tableau, DAMA's team of professional, volunteer, and youth artists made major strides in only a half-day of work!

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Creating a Vision for Zion City's Mural

May 30, 2015 was set to be the first painting day for DAMA's first ever mural! Yet...the weather had another plan... Fortunately, a strong group of artists, Zion City members, and youth were present inside the center's cozy confines to discuss the vision for the mural.

Lavie Raven of the University of Hip-Hop in Chicago led the discussions, people drew their plans, and the community came together to develop concepts and images that are currently being strewn across a Zion City exterior wall.  

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Dane Arts & Sustain Dane at Villager Mall

On April 11, Dane Arts teamed up with Sustain Dane for an event organized by local nonprofits and MG&E. Just after Earth Day, Madison youth got out some chalk to celebrate the natural environment through drawings while community members discussed the upcoming DAMA project at Zion City.

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